Pimax today announced two new Crystal series PC VR headsets, one of which is focused on affordability while the other pushes the envelope on resolution.

During a prerecorded presentation today, Pimax introduced the Crystal Light and Crystal Super PC VR headsets.

Pimax Crystal Light

Image courtesy Pimax

Crystal Light might sound like a diet drink, but it’s actually a more affordable version of the company’s flagship Crystal headset, which Pimax says has been “highly successful.” The company says Crystal Light is a “streamlined iteration” of the original Crystal headset, and cuts some major features to reduce the weight and price of the headset.

Most notably, Crystal Light ditches the original version’s on-board Snapdragon XR2 processor, battery, and storage, which allowed the headset to run in a standalone mode without a PC.

Crystal Light retains the same 8.3MP (2,880 × 2,880) per-eye resolution as the original headset, while dropping eye-tracking, automatic IPD adjustment, interchangeable lenses, and on-board hardware to enable compatibility with a 60GHz wireless module.

Doing so has allowed the company to drop weight by 30% and the price of the Crystal Light to $700 (compared to the original Crystal at $1,600).

While that’s a huge savings over the original, it’s the price of the headset with inside-out tracking and controllers. Those wanting the full SteamVR Tracking will need to add controllers and base stations which add another $580 or so, plus a SteamVR Tracking faceplate for the headset (currently of unknown price).

Like the original, Crystal Light has on-board audio and claimed 125° degree horizontal field-of-view.

Pimax also says the Crystal Light can be optionally equipped with mini-LEDs in its display for greater contrast via local dimming, which will raise the headset’s price to $900.

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Crystal Light is available for pre-order today and the company says it will start shipping next month.

Pimax Crystal Super

Pimax Crystal Super equipped with SteamVR Tracking faceplate and controllers (sold separately) | Image courtesy Pimax

For those looking for the best visual fidelity from Pimax, the Crystal Super is the company’s latest offering. It also drops some of the extraneous features of the original Crystal, like the standalone processor, but keeps some others.

The headlining features are a 14.7MP (3,840 × 3,840) per-eye resolution, optionally using QLED & mini-LED (120Hz) or micro-OLED (90Hz).

Pimax says the Crystal Super not only has greater clarity than the original Crystal thanks to the resolution boost, but also claims a “significantly bigger field-of-view.”

The exact field-of-view will depend on which of two different lens choices the buyer makes, one which will provide 50 PPD and a slightly higher field-of-view of 130° horizontal, or the other with 57 PPD with a slightly lower field-of-view (the exact FoV is not currently specified).

Unlike Crystal Light, Crystal Super will retain eye-tracking with automatic IPD adjustment and dynamic foveated rendering capabilities. It also has on-board audio.

The base model of Crystal Super with QLED display is priced at $1,800 with inside-out tracking, while the micro-OLED model is priced at $2,000. Or, you can buy both for $2,400, thanks to the Crystal Super’s ability to swap between different display modules. Controllers are sold separately.

Image courtesy Pimax

SteamVR Tracking can be added with an optional faceplate (additional pricing unknown).

Pimax says Crystal Super will ship in Q4 2024.

60GHz Wireless for the Original Crystal

Image courtesy Pimax

Pimax also showed further progress on its 60GHz “airlink” system for streaming PC VR content to the Crystal headset wirelessly. The wireless module was originally announced way back in 2021, but still hasn’t shipped.

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Today the company showed the latest prototypes of the module—an impressively slim dongle—and announced a $300 price with shipping expected later this year.

The airlink module is only compatible with the original Crystal headset because the Crystal Light and Crystal Super lack the on-board hardware necessary to handle the wireless connection and processing.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Andrew Jakobs

    Yet again Pimax is making a mess of the amount of prototypes they put into the wild.

  • ViRGiN

    I love the fact that the only “company” (sponsored fully by chinese government who build their own dedicated factory for them) is the only player who actually “cares” about PCVR, and that’s only “care” because they are incapable of doing anything not relying on SteamVR library.
    All pimax products have been nothing but a joke, but there is plenty of brainwashed PCVR “users”, or “elitists” who don’t call themselves “gamers” but “simmers”.

    Can’t wait for the new shills to appear in VR space!

    • Brandiliotious

      I was anti Pimax at first, but picked up a used 8kx. At the time, it was a great headset, but mainly for sim stuff and sit down type games. Never had any issues with it and really enjoyed it…and I’ve had just about every major headset out there. It’s definitely not for everyone and Pimax have definitely had their issues rolling out products. I’m with you on the whole China thing…not crazy about that. I’ve since moved on to a Quest 3 and for the money, I just don’t think you can beat it for standalone or pcvr. I do miss the wide FOV on the 8kx though.

      • ViRGiN

        The early pimax models just brute-forced their (flawed) fov/resolution by simply making even bigger headsets. If someone was absolutetly desperate for fov, yeah these were pretty much the only options. But pimax lost its ultra wide fov long ago.
        Today they announced like 4-5 new products, meanwhile the existing products still are nowhere near complete, many never saw the light of day, and many are also abandoned. Check out the pimax “connect” frontier videos from a year or two ago.
        There is so many red flags here, but hey, this is a headset for specific kind of elitists – enthusiast/simmer.

  • Mike

    maybe they should focus on making their existing headsets work correctly before adding more. I am a crystal owner and it’s been the worst experience i have had with any product in my entire life. god help anyone who buys one of their headsets. mine still doesn’t work more than half the time I try and use it. i bought it to replace a reverb g2 that i bought 4 months before Microsoft announced they are discontinuing support for that headset in windows effectively bricking it. it’s all been enough to make me just want to give up on VR for good. and I was VR biggest supported and an enthusiast. it all just sucks now.

    • Kenny

      FWIW: Oculus and Index work great….. Every other headset I have tried had some fatal flaw.

    • Brandiliotious

      Dude, get a Quest 3 with virtual desktop. I have a Pimax 8kx and barely use it. The clarity and ease of use with the Q3 will bring you back.

      • The_Donald

        I had quest 3. I primarily play dcs with my vr, and experienced nothing but issues with the quest. Traded up for crystal and never looked back. The clarity is amazing, and other than a couple hiccups that have since been patched.. im having no issues.

        • ViRGiN

          Keyword: “play dcs”.
          You are exactly the type of person who never had an issue with tether.
          Because you can’t physically move in your basement.

  • eadVrim

    Very hard to return to regular lenses after tried the pancake lenses، the 3D depth never looks so real.

    • Daisy

      You may also need to try aspheric glass lenses to see the difference!

  • Jaap Grolleman

    Looking forward to more people getting the Crystal Light and entering high-end PCVR.

    • ViRGiN

      Looking forward to the day you join your former colleagues Kevin Henderson and Joshua Son.

      Also looking forward to all the things announced for Peemax line of products during past few years “frontier” events.

  • The_Donald

    Absolutely love my crystal.. too bad I just bought it a couple months ago.. the super specs are outstanding. The 60g wireless adapter looks good too. Had the wireless for my old valve.. was heavy, limited battery life.. but worked well.this looks much better. And no extra pci card to install..

  • Daisy

    I have used Crystal for a long time and cannot go back to any standalone VR headsets due to the clarity. Really look forward to seeing an even higher-resolution headset come out!

    • ViRGiN

      Do you play AirCar fulltime?

  • Jimmy

    It has to be said that pimax has been innovating, not easily, but he has certainly been providing unique products for the VR market. Crystal had some problems at first, but the software has basically improved since then, and Crystal is by far the best product I have ever used, with unparalleled clarity! I fully respect Pimax!

  • ddrake1984

    Hey everyone, Pimax is working hard to build a positive community and introduce innovative products with exciting features. However, it’s disheartening to see so much negativity directed towards them and their products. They’re putting in a lot of effort to push the boundaries of technology, and it’s important to appreciate that. Some might see me as a supporter, but I think it’s more productive to advocate for positivity rather than joining the ranks of the negative critics.

    Additionally, I’ve noticed that many comments in discussions appear to be racist, which only further detracts from constructive dialogue and fosters toxicity in the community. It’s crucial that we all work together to create an inclusive and respectful environment for everyone.

    • ViRGiN

      This is the most anti semitic post I have ever seen. Does RTVR really allows this?

    • Foreign Devil

      Racist? We are talking VR headsets. . not sure where you saw race come in.

      • ViRGiN

        this thread is flooded by pimax bot army. tons of users you have never seen before, and never will again.
        pimax is really pathethic.

        • Daca123

          It’s funny, I usually roll my eyes at bot accusations. But damn, it’s pretty blatant. Most of these accounts have exactly one comment. They couldn’t even be bothered to buy some established accounts lol.

  • drowhunter

    Wow, the hateful comments. It really wouldn’t matter if Pimax created the best VR headset in the world. Some people will always be biased.

    Say what you will about them, but Pimax has put out way more innovated headsets than HTC has and lately every headset the released has been an actual flop.

    I have a Crystal and a Quest 3 and I love them both for different reasons, but the Pimax easily the most advanced headset on the market period.

    Pimax is not perfect for sure, but seriously, calm down people

    • ViRGiN

      > Say what you will about them, but Pimax has put out way more innovated headsets than HTC has and lately every headset the released has been an actual flop.

      Wow, the hateful comments. It really wouldn’t matter if HTC created the best VR headset in the world. Some people will always be biased.

  • ViRGiN

    Where all these brand new shills account come from?
    It might very well be pimax themselves, but I bet this article is thrown around in the backrooms of cult communities whos only demand from VR headset is not that it works, but that it is expensive and high resolution.

  • mobettameta

    Pimax VR really stands out in the VR scene. They’ve got some of the highest resolution displays out there and their field of view is super wide, which isn’t something you see with most VR headsets. It makes everything feel a lot more immersive. They’re also always updating their tech and making improvements, which is pretty cool for users who want the latest and greatest. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into VR! Not to mention the new offerings have all the options to fit any budget and exactly what you want.

  • Julian

    They are going in the right direction! Things have improved significantly if you ask me

    The crystal super adds even more modularity to the headset which I love since if your display would break it would be cheaper and easier with the hotswap program then if it were the entire headset.

    People could maybe make their own stuff which I think was encouraged in the presentation!

    If they were to release a core version of the crystal (like only the base) who knows it can be modified for use in those arcade vr sims (the ones with the crappy rollercoasters etc) and it would be more affordable and easier to repair. If we are lucky we could maybe even get a module with the guts to get a high fov like the generations before the crystal! Simply said it looks really promising!

    The crystal light is also a great idea! If the price would be lowered a little more it would be more in the price range that my 5ksuper was and could be a new baseline. In my opinion there should be an eyetracking version tho.. My friend really wants to get a crystal and the crystal light would be perfect but eyetracking would still be a must have. Since it’s priced lower it has a higher chance to be bought and used in more social vr environments and I myself use my crystal for that too! Facial tracking greatly helps with conveying a form of emotion towards the people you would talk to on for example VRC and it would be easier then pupeteering imo.

    The 60g airlink is also a cool addition. In combination with the hotswappable batteries on the crystal you could easily extend your playtime

    I faced the issue that I had an empty battery a lot of times when using my quest 2 but this to me sounds like a very nice solution

    This is just my opinion etc. I know that things are taking long and we know there were false promises back then (*cough* crystal full facial tracking that will be an accessory instead *cough*) but having seen how far the crystal got compared to my 5k super I think they are much further now if it comes to making more finished products

    Don’t take my thing wrong, like I said I know there are issues

    Let’s see what they will deliver!

  • Pepie

    Pimax truly goes where no one to risk it all. Creating something new while selling it for such a low price. Im happy that the VR Community has Pimac and Pimax did listen to us :)

  • SWAR WAR

    I think it is great they are always trying to advance and push forward. It seems to me they really are always trying to improve on what they have already built, others just put out the product with no further work and move on. I will take this kind of life in a company knowing they are going to be around and strive to be better, it can only help the future of VR.

  • Crystal light seems right decision. Features like eye tracking and standalone are looks good but not that necessary but increase the price a lot. However, the crystal super is quastionable thing. Swapable optical engine? I think pimax has to made a decision and make the HMD smaller and lighter as possible.

  • Mike Cerreta

    i have a 2 crystals right now and have had the best experience as far as vr goes and support . the visuals have been amazing . i can’t wait for the super with the res and the when the 5090 comes out it’s gonna be amazing . keep pushing vr forward pimax !

  • ViRGiN

    This headset is like a high-maintenance diva with a bad attitude. Sure, it boasts impressive visuals, but it’s as user-friendly as a porcupine pillow. I’d rather wrestle a greased-up octopus than deal with its setup issues.

    • polysix

      You’re expending waaaaay too much energy on this, chump!

      • ViRGiN

        It’s not going to make valve care about VR so don’t get your hopes up

  • ViRGiN

    Congratulations, Pimax! You’ve managed to create a VR headset that makes buyers question their life choices. It’s like paying for a Michelin-star meal and getting a cold, soggy sandwich. Eye tracking? Nope. Hand tracking? More like hand-waving frustration.

    • NotMikeD

      These analogies today–where are they coming from?? … Do continue.

      • ViRGiN

        Congratulations, Pimax, you’ve achieved the impossible: making VR less enjoyable than a root canal. It’s like strapping a cinder block to your face and hoping for enlightenment. At $1600, I expected more than a headache and a broken heart.

  • ViRGiN

    Forget CrossFit; just wear the Pimax Crystal for a day. It’s bulkier than a brick wall and heavier than a black hole. By the time you’re done adjusting the IPD settings, you’ll have biceps like Schwarzenegger.

  • ViRGiN

    Remember those grand promises of 8K resolution and glass lenses? Well, they’re buried under layers of disappointment. It’s like buying a Ferrari and discovering it runs on hamster wheels. Oh, and the standalone mode? About as functional as a chocolate teapot.

  • XRC

    Pimax is certainly ambitious which is to be celebrated as many have scaled development back or left the stage…

    I’ve had a pre-production Crystal and currently have a production unit with steamVR faceplate, dmas off-ear speakers, 6 metre fibre optic tether plugged straight into headset, don’t use the USB hub.

    After some software updates last year, it’s been very reliable which was surprising. It turns on every time and works, can’t complain about that. Visually it’s absolutely stunning, but you’ll find yourself looking for suitable titles with high resolution assets to really exploit it’s potential.

    Get enough power from the two batteries for a day of roomscale VR, but I wouldn’t be sad to see them go as it’s another thing to charge along with motion controllers.

    Performance; it’s very demanding to run at full resolution even with my RTX4080, the dynamic foveated rendering makes a big difference, more than I assumed. I’d be sad to see this feature disappear from the Crystal light, but the Tobii eye module and licensing isn’t cheap.

    The BOE display panels are excellent, and also being used in Somnium’s new VR1. Pimax’s aspherical glass lenses are also impressive though benefitted from Almalence digital lens software to control chromatic aberration and further increase perceived resolution. Unfortunately this license agreement ended.

    Overall, Crystal feels like an oversized Valve Index with visuals on steroids, which is no bad thing. I’m using Index and Pimax Sword controllers in a three base station set-up, as well as still using my Index headset for fast active gaming at higher frame rates.

  • ViRGiN

    bruh, pimax, work on your chinese-graded marketing!

  • ViRGiN

    Imagine stepping into a virtual world with all the grace of a drunken giraffe. That’s the Pimax Crystal experience. It promises immersion but delivers disorientation. The field of view? Wider than the Grand Canyon, but so distorted that you’ll question the curvature of reality itself.

  • xyzs

    I’ll never understand this brand…
    Instead of making 2 or 3 models max, the best possible, they shit 4 variations at once, while having plenty of existing dispency in their line up.

    Damn, just do things clean, simple, and focused !

  • Dara

    How can their 60GHz dongle handle the full resolution of these new headsets over what looks like a 10Gbps USB connection?
    Uncompressed streaming to a 4k headset would need well over 30Gbps and the original Vive Wireless adapter (which is PCIe 3.0 x4) struggles with thermal issues with a 2k headset? Unless I’m missing something and they have amazing software (seems unlikely) I don’t see how it’s possible?

  • polysix

    Weird thing about Pimax is in specs they deliver what most proper VR fans want, but usually it ends up far jankier than you’d hope.

    I at least wish them well and hope they’ve learned from past mistakes because they are doing some good things here: Glass lenses, DP connection, abandoning all the USELESS standalone gubbins that real VR users want no part of – with additional cost and weight savings (yes even if it means we don’t get wireless PCVR). micro OLED (not interested in the LCD even with local dimming – done that with my Quest Pro and uOLED is the only way higher after this even with the minor drawbacks), built in audio and tracking (bad luck Beyond… you were warned your design was a bridge too far).

    Really, if it were valve releasing the crystal super MicroOLED version then it would be the best HMD of all time for proper VR, but with pimax behind the wheel I have my doubts.

    What I do know is Meta are never going to deliver anything like this again (for PCVR), just more standalone trash for teens and cartoon games with gimmicky MR stuck on (way before its time). So it’s valve or this…. and that’s IF Valve haven’t also got caught up in the standalone hype that has led to nothing but high uptake/low retention race to the bottom cartoon VR made for kids and nothing like it started out with on the rift CV1 in Palmer’s day.

    So, yeah.. pimax at least ‘get it’ but can they deliver the quality and service?

    • ViRGiN

      > real VR users
      Nice elitism you got there.
      They don’t even have standalone-driven wifi streaming, something literally every standalone headset has, incl Gear VR and Daydream.
      You still need that chip for their wireless dongle which is also years late.

      Their built in audio has two modes – “good” that adds significant latency to the sound, and “horrible” but without latency.

      > has led to nothing but high uptake/low retention race to the bottom cartoon VR made for kids
      You are literally describing the launch of consumer PC VR since 2016, up till Quest 1 launch. PCVR has been nothing but ugly crappy games that looked like mobile games, just running on the same PC that can play Battlefield 5 and Far Cry, at once.

      > pimax at least ‘get it’ but can they deliver the quality and service?
      Nope.

      And valve do not care about VR. Never did, never will. Index is 5 years old. Time to move on.

  • KRAKEN

    Im waiting for the promised official PSVR2 PC driver, dont need anything else that headset is INSANELY good hardware-wise